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48-Hour Ceasefire in 3 Syrian Towns Leads to Aid

The Syrian civil war has caused the country to be in constant need of food and medical aid. The ongoing war since March 2011, has led to over 240,000 deaths and more than half of the country fleeing their homes. An estimated 11.5 million Syrian refugees have gone to neighboring countries to escape the dangers of conflict, hunger and diseases that result from war.

The Syrian people only get a little bit of a break from these traumatic experiences when there are periodic ceasefires to allow for the delivery of aid. One of the most recent ceasefires was in mid-August, in which 3 towns participated.

One of the towns was Zabadani, which had been in the news for trying to drive out insurgents. The other two towns participating in the ceasefire were Shiite villages. The ceasefire was arranged between Iran and Turkey and was initially scheduled for two days but was extended for five days.

These ceasefires are crucial in saving lives and delivering basic health care to people who are undergoing tremendous suffering. The need for food and medical aid is so great that people are dying because they can’t access aid with the ongoing conflict. The ceasefire allowed for those in critical conditions to be evacuated.

The ongoing conflict is between Syrian government forces and Syrian rebels. In some towns such as Zabadani, there is an effort to drive out insurgents. In other towns, Syrian government forces have had to retreat because as President Assad has recognized, they have a manpower shortage.

As a result, some government forces have shifted to places that are considered more strategic holdings. The negotiations between the Syrian government forces and the Syrian rebels are underway but are going very slowly.

The Syrian civil war has been devastating, contributing to the largest amount of displaced people our world has ever seen. Amnesty International has accused the Syrian government of war crimes against 163,000, given the constant aerial bombardment and shelling, adding to the traumatic experiences of civilians.

No human should be living under these conditions. Syrians are dying in their own country, while food and health care aid are oftentimes on the other side of the conflict, and they can only have access to it when a ceasefire is agreed upon by their own government and rebel fighters.

Even those who have escaped, while lucky for making it out alive, are facing a difficult life, of being displaced with the limited resources of aid they receive.

Paula Acevedo

Sources: Farsnews, BBC, Reuters
Photo: CBS News